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The Chicago School experts offer mental health tips for 2017

(CHICAGO) (December 20, 2016) The end of the year is a good time to assess many things, including how well we’ve taken care of our mental health during the year and what we can do to improve going forward into the New Year. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, one of the leading nonprofit universities devoted to psychology, and behavioral health services, offers simple tips everyone can implement to take care of their mental health. *

  • “Put your own oxygen mask on” before helping others: it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup.
  • Recognize the difference between a false alarm and a real emergency — anxiety is usually a false alarm.
  • Take time to develop your inner peace through meditation, mindfulness, or journaling your thoughts and feelings.
  • When having a negative thought, try pairing it with a positive thought and a neutral thought.
  • Allow yourself to feel however you feel; don’t try to change it or deny it.
  • Schedule regular physical activities to protect against stress, reduce inflammation, improve self-image, and release feel good endorphins.
  • Get outdoors when possible to help reduce stress and boost overall well-being.
  • Volunteer to help others. It will give you a quick boost and an invaluable perspective of your community.
  • Embrace perspectives different than your own. This will help promote positive change in the world around you and in yourself.

Bonus Tips for the Holiday Season

  • Keep in mind each holiday is A DAY- one day- and if you struggle with holidays typically, don’t make it a big deal within you. It’s a day, then it’s the next day and over.
  • Be gentle with yourself. Holidays can carry painful reminders of lost loved ones. Your memories and sadness honor their meaning in your life.
  • Not liking the holidays is just fine. Remind yourself of that. You aren’t required to enjoy holidays. Just be you.
  • Don’t lose the joy of the season amidst the bustle. Enjoy their presence as much as their presents.
  • Evaluate who you want to see, be with, share with and just do that. You don’t have to interact with everyone.
  • Start small with New Year’s resolutions. Make them achievable and sustainable. Sometimes the smallest thing brings the longest change. Although we mean well and want to bring about positive change in our lives, because we set our aspirations so high, those resolutions are often unattainable or unsustainable.

*Listed tips are not meant to treat mental illness or replace the advice of a consulted mental health expert or behavioral health specialist.

 About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Founded in 1979, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is a nonprofit, private university devoted exclusively to psychology, and related behavioral and health sciences. The Chicago School is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a nonprofit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact. The university serves nearly 4,300 students across campuses in Chicago; Southern California (Los Angeles and Irvine); and Washington, D.C., as well as through online programs. Our San Diego Campus will open in fall 2017.The Chicago School is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, (WSCUC), and its Clinical Psychology Doctoral programs in Chicago and Washington, D.C. are accredited by the American Psychological Association. With more than 20 graduate degree programs, thousands of hours of real-world training, and a wealth of international opportunities, TCSPP is the leader in professional psychology education. To learn more, visit

Lisa Riley
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